— Eye on Everett —

The genie is out of the bottle and can’t be put Back

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By Josh Resnek

In Arab mythology the genie in the bottle is a mischievous spirit with magical powers.

Many believe this old saying comes from the story of Aladdin, who rubs a lamp and releases a genie from it.

However we choose to look at the saying, no matter what its derivation is, this we know for certain.

When the genie is let out of the bottle, the genie can’t be put back inside it.

No matter what you attempt, when the genie is out, a new moment is at hand and you better watch out.

Since his slate of candidates was roundly beaten at the polls in November, the mayor has been wondering about exactly what happened.

How could all his candidates lose and so convincingly?

The mayor is smart to be asking such a question of his brain staff at city hall.

Will he be smart enough to understand what is happening?

No, of course not.

He will avoid the truth the way he tends not to look at his own actions too carefully.

Will his brain trust be bold to suggest to him what is going on?

No. Absolutely not.

No one in his brain trust is daring enough to get the boss uptight.

Remember, even with his brain trust, there is always the chance one of them could be fired by the mayor for saying the wrong thing to him or making honest sense to him.

He asks them questions but he believes he is smarter than they are. We are not exactly sure who the members of his brain trust are.Jerry Navarro is a highly trusted soldier for the mayor. Jerry is the mayor’s paperboy – that is – he throws away the Leader Herald’s for the mayor.

He has often said the mayor cannot be beaten.

“You think he can be beaten? He will never be beaten,” he said to me in passing at city hall many months ago.

“No one can beat him,” he added.

The mayor’s cousin, Councilor Anthony DiPierro is also a mayoral brain truster, another soldier doing the mayor’s private politicking.

The losses incurred in November by the mayor with his slate are more DiPierro’s losses than the mayor’s.

He did everything asked of him – placing signage, circulating leaflets, calling for investigations and on and on.

None of it worked.

Then there’s Tom Philbin, his communications chief, the glue that holds together pieces that might otherwise fall apart.

Philbin is pretty careful about mixing his official job with the mayor’s politics but then, he works for the mayor and the mayor’s life is all about winning elections. Like everyone else working for the mayor, Tom does whatever the mayor tells him to do.

We are told that a number of meetings have recently taken place with the mayor questioning his brain trust.

We have been talking with a fly on the wall who attended several of those meetings.

The fly has reported back to us.

Here’s what went on.

At one meeting held inside city hall, Navarro the Paper Boy was beside himself – sweating, swearing, threatening, bewildered by the outcome of the elections in November.

“What happened!” he asked the mayor and the members of the brain trust seated around the conference table.

“You didn’t do enough for me, Jerry. That’s what happened,” the mayor replied.

“Yeah Jerry, you just didn’t do enough like you used to do. What are you tired?” the mayor asked. “You’re not too tired to pick up your city pay check every week, Jerry.

“If it wasn’t for me, you wouldn’t be the mayor,” Jerry said.

“But how do you think I’m going to win if people like you are asleep at the wheel?” the mayor answered.

“You’re saying I’m asleep at the wheel. That’s not me. That’s Anthony. Instead of working every night, he was out partying. He thought he had everything signed, sealed and delivered. Well, guess what? He didn’t. Anthony is the one asleep at the wheel, not me!”

“Jerry, if you think the mayor is going to throw me under the bus before you get thrown under the bus, well, guess what? You get thrown under the bus before I do,” DiPierro said to Navarro.

Anthony went on.

“I could use a job with your salary, Jerry. I don’t make nearly what you do, and you do nothing. Your efforts leading up to the election prove this.”

“The mayor will never let me go,” Navarro said to DiPierro. “He can’t afford to let me go no matter what I do or don’t do,” he added.

“What do you mean he can’t afford to let you go?” DiPierro asked. “I’m the holder of all his secrets,” Navarro said confidently.

“Let me repeat. He can’t afford to let me go,” Navarro said.

The mayor cringed.

“Guys. Guys,” the mayor shouted.

“This meeting is about me. Without me, this entire city hall scheme to enrich ourselves goes down the drain. Do you both understand this?” he asked.

“Philbin tells me the veneer has been cracked. Do you know what that means?” he asked Navarro.

“Not really,” Navarro answered.

“It means that the last election cracked the wall protecting me. The last election’s outcome has put everything at risk for my political future.” DiPierro and Navarro shared a quiet moment. DiPierro was thinking to himself where he’d be partying that night later on. Navarro was thinking about dinner and what he wanted to eat.

“What wall are you talking about?” Navarro asked the mayor. “Where is this wall?” he asked.

“Jerry, there’s no wall. It is an imaginary wall that was cracked. Oh my God. Do you not understand?”

“Tom, please explain to Jerry about the wall?”

“Sure, mayor,” Tom answered.

Tom was joined by Jerry.

“Here’s the deal, Jerry. The wall that cracked is like the Genie in the bottle that get’s let out.”

“What Genie? What bottle? Jerry asked Tom.

“The crack in the dam is like the Genie let out of the bottle,” Tom said to Jerry.

“Huh? What are you talkin about?” Jerry replied.

“When the Genie has been let out of the bottle, the Genie can’t be put back inside, Jerry. It’s the same with the wall that’s been cracked that protects the mayor from losing. Once the crack exists, it can’t be repaired,” Tom said.

“You’re fired,” the mayor said to Tom.

Tom looked at the mayor. His face was ashen. The mayor smiled.

“Just kidding, Tom. You’re not fired. Not yet.”

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